ST. CLOUD — A 2-run 15th inning enabled the Nisswa Lightning to outlast the Madison Mallards 4-2 in an opening-round game in the Class C state tournament Sunday at Putz Field.
With one out and the score tied 2-2 in the top of the 15th, Nisswa’s Mike Zauhar singled. Drew Boland followed with a single, bringing up Luke Schumer, who singled to score Zauhar. Boland scored on an error on the play as Schumer advanced to second. Madison intentionally walked Nisswa’s Jeremiah Piepkorn before bringing in right-hander Joe Fuller, a draftee from Ortonville, to face Jason Roepke with two on and one out. Roepke struck out looking and Aaron Jenkins fouled out to end the inning.
Schumer struck out the side in order in the bottom of the Madison 15th, advancing Nisswa to next weekend’s second round against Region 7 champion Green Isle. He got the win, allowing no runs and no hits in four innings, with seven strikeouts and no walks.
The game was a tremendous pitchers’ duel. Five different pitchers combined to strike out 36 batters. Starting pitchers Logan Kalis of Nisswa and Chris Fellows of Madison each struck out 14 but didn’t figure in the decision.
Kalis, a draftee from Fort Ripley, went 11 innings, throwing 161 pitches. He allowed two runs and just two hits, with seven walks, and hit two batters. Kalis pitched no-hit ball for 7.2 innings, with Evan Kells’ game-tying 2-run single Madison’s first hit in the bottom of the eighth.
Fellows, a left-handed draftee from Ortonville, pitched 13 innings, allowing two runs and six hits with only one walk and hit three batters. He threw 163 pitches.
Zauhar finished 3-4 with a sacrifice, was hit by a pitch, and stole a base. Schumer and Jason Roepke each had two hits for the Lightning.
Trailing 1-0, Schumer tripled to open the fourth before Piepkorn ripped an RBI double off the fence, tying the game. One out later, Jenkins’ run-scoring double gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead.
Madison, making its first state tournament appearance in 60 years, opened the scoring in the bottom of the second. Kalis walked two batters and dropped a pop-up, loading the bases. He then issued his third walk of the inning to force in a run.
The loss eliminated Madison from the 48-team, single-elimination tournament.
Nisswa 4 10 2
Madison 2 2 1
WP: Luke Schumer. LP: Eric Paulson. Overall: N 18-14. Next: Nisswa vs. Green Isle, second round, Class C state tournament, 5 p.m. Sunday, Putz Field, St. Cloud.